Today I was happy to have Sebastian Butler (hero of Miss Darcy Falls In Love by Sharon Lathan) over for tea. He was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about love and music and allow me to share them with you. Also, Ms. Lathan, his literary agent, has generously offered a copy Miss Darcy Falls In Love for me to give to one of you. So please, pull up a chair and have a cup of tea as we welcome Mr. Butler.
I have five younger sisters, which is an “abundance” indeed! My life has never been boring, that is for sure. I adore them and consider myself blessed to have been surrounded by loving siblings, each of whom are incredible women and the joy of my youth. Of course now that I have said that publicly they shall use it to their advantage, finding some way to finagle favors from me. (He pauses to chuckle and sip his tea, his grey eyes soft and momentarily distant.) One negative to my travels of late is that I miss them. Adele and Reine, the youngest of my sisters, are at home in
. Clarisse is now the Duchess of Tichbourne so our paths cross rarely. My sisters nearest to me in age, Guinevere who is Lady Rycroft and Vivienne who married my dearest friend Adrien, the Marquis de Marcov, are in England so my wife and I are able to visit with them frequently. Between the six of us, and our mother, we keep the postal services busy! France
LM – I am sure you do! I have three sisters and five brothers so I know exactly what you mean. When you were a child and first learning to play an instrument, what was it that attracted you to music?
LM – I truly envy your gift. I am still but a beginner at the piano even after studying for years. As an accomplished musician and composer, are there any pieces of music that you have a particular fondness for?
SB - I know this will sound cliché and an obligatory response designed to curry favor, but the honest truth is that I am fondest of the compositions created in collaboration with or inspired by my wife. How could I not be? However, fondness for a piece of music is subtly different than saying what are my favorite pieces to play. The latter refers more to the skill required to perform or to the satisfaction engendered when mastering a complex, moving composition. In that case I prefer the works of Beethoven, especially his sonatas and most recent works, as well as Mozart, Franz Danzi, Cherubini, Hummel... (He laughs and shakes his head.) As you can see, my taste is eclectic, and that is a dangerous question to ask of a musician unless you wish to be here all day whilst I bore you to tears listing names impossible to spell and pronounce! Next question then, Ms. Madchen.
LM - I apologize if you find this question to be overly personal and impertinent, but what was the first thought that went through your head when you finally admitted to yourself that you had fallen in love with Miss Georgiana Darcy?
SB - (He hesitates before responding, his words halting and voice hoarse.) Without a doubt it was seeing her with Baron Caxton. Fortunately I was not subjected to witnessing them together too often, that a blessing or I am sure I would have gone mad. I nearly did lose all shreds of my sanity at the de Valday gala in
when she... No, I cannot speak of it! That is why I had to leave Paris and why I.... I am sorry, Ms. Madchen, but may we change the subject? Paris
LM - Of course, my apologies. What is your opinion of novelists, Lord Nell?
SB - I love an enticing novel and applaud writers who weave stories. Their genius is similar to a composer, is it not? An art form designed to entertain or induce emotion in those who listen, or in the case of an author, those who read, should be appreciated. My wife and I read the popular novels together, taking turns picking the book. I am fond of Walter Scott and Defoe, while her favorites are Fanny Burney and Jane Austen. We recently read Frankenstein and... (He grins and lowers his voice.) ...she pretended to be shocked and horrified, but I know that she loved it.
LM – I am nearly finished reading Frankenstein as part of my education and I confess I found it to be quite horrifying. (smiles sheepishly) Scott and Austen on the other hand are authors whose books I have read many times before and will read many times again. If you were able to perform with any musician at any venue, who and where would it be? And what song would you choose?
LM – (blushes profusely) Oh, well, umm…I would love to hear you and Lady Nell perform, on a stage of course. If you should ever come to
I hope you will arrange for a concert. I would be delighted to meet your lovely wife. Again, thank you so much for coming, Lord Nell. America
SB - I have yet to travel to the Americas, Ms. Madchen, and would dearly love to do so. It would be marvelous to attend an opera in New York or Philadelphia, perhaps with Benjamin Carr or James Hewitt. Thank you for the suggestion! I shall discuss the idea with Lady Nell and if we do undertake the excursion I will be sure to inform you. I have enjoyed our discourse immensely. Thank you for the opportunity.
Noble young ladies were expected to play an instrument, but Georgiana Darcy is an accomplished musician who hungers to pursue her talents. She embarks upon a tour of Europe, ending in
where two very different men will ignite her heart in entirely different ways and begin a bitter rivalry to win her. But only one holds the key to her happiness. Paris